Woolies faces plagiarism claim

A designer has accused Woolworths of plagiarism, less than two years after the Frankie’s debacle.

A young designer is accusing Woolworths of plagiarism. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A young designer is accusing Woolworths of copying her hummingbird design and using it on pillow covers for sale in its stores.

Euodia Roets of homeware shop, Touchee Feelee, is alleging the retailer based its designs on a sample she submitted to them months earlier.

Woolworths has denied any wrongdoing.

Woolworths CEO Ian Moir told Radio 702 they did not steal Roets' design.

"No we didn't steal her designs. We were trying to actually work with local talent and this was an attempt to do that. Under the local designer range, we have 17 local artists that we support. We tried to work with Euodia and it didn't come off. The thing that she's accusing us of we actually put it three months before we actually met her."

Moir said this was not the first time they used hummingbirds.

"I'm absolutely confident we did not steal Euodia's idea. Hummingbirds have been around for quite a while. We had a hummingbird on a plate of ours in 2011 and if I'm being honest that looks more like Euodia's painting than the cushion does."

Moir said they have confirmed the image they used on their cushions is someone else's original hand painted work.

Meanwhile, Woolworths MD for Clothing and General Merchandise, Brett Kaplan, said stores' hummingbird design follows international trends.

"We travel the world for inspiration and the use of hummingbirds is a global trend. This is not about copying anyone's designs, it's about following international trends!"

Click here to listen to Woolworths' official defence.